Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Recensione

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2020-07-30 23:56:01
With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the Nintendo campaign continues: "laugh whoever laughs last", or something like that. Mario Kart 8 DX opened the dances, Bayonetta 2 followed him without too many hesitations and in the next few weeks it will be up to Hyrule Warriors and Captain Toad Treasure Tracker to hit the same button. Evidently in Kyoto they are convinced that a part of the proposal originally conceived for Wii U deserved far more than allowed by the (tremendous) numbers scored by the console with the GamePad. And now that things are much better, we are back to beating cash. If it were not abused by now it would be to rely on the famous line: "ce ripigliamm 'tutto' chell che è 'o nuost".

Is there anything wrong? Just for nothing. In fact, do the games mentioned all deserve a second chance? Undoubtedly. Who has already started, lived and finished Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze four years ago is morally obliged to start from scratch today? Not even by mistake. In short, to each what he wants and if millions of possible players / buyers in 2014 didn't even know about the latest adventure of the monkey with the tie ... then it makes sense that today Nintendo will come back to knock on their door: "Hi, you have five minutes to talk about the slap lord? ".


Today as yesterday Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze puts aside any desire for reworking and revolution of the matter, preferring to focus on the possibility of creating a particularly canonical but also extremely competent platform game. Its biggest limit may want to correspond to the most exciting aspect. No too much bouncing ideas, "only" a series of levels in which you run from left to right, jumping, climbing, eliminating enemies and chasing the many secrets hidden behind each palm, rock and waterfall from Retro Studios.

The result is that in the hands (this time literally) you find yourself a fun game and packed with all the trappings. A platform game born of Nintendo's infinite wisdom on the subject, now unapproachable for the competition when it comes to setting up such traditional and chiseled experiences to the millimeter. If at the time of Donkey Kong Country Returns it was surprising the familiarity with which Retro Studios had gone from Metroid Prime's first-person-adventure to the platforms of the old furry school of Donkey Kong, today it is no longer news. It remains only to be ascertained with a beautiful smile printed on the face: in terms of control system, level design and challenge rate, Tropical Freeze is a jewel. And if you want to go into more details, if what was said was not enough, here you can find the review of the game in Wii U version: everything said remains valid even today.

However much you go too far. Like when he pushes too much on the accelerator of precision to the frame of this or that jump, ending up transforming some (few) sequences from "I have to sweat a lot but I'm having fun" to "now I put Switch in the dishwasher and then we'll talk about it". Or, again, like when he can't break away from the usual standard level formula, then the ride on the mine carts, then the boss and so on. Nothing that wasn't already cleared up at the time of the original release on Wii U, is clear.

On Switch, the game discovers a cleaner and more convincing graphic design, as long as you play games connected to the TV. In this case, the native Full HD resolution (at 1080 points) makes perfectly due to the great work of the artists of Retro. If you add to all the softness of 60 frames per second, it is not complex to understand how you can still be enraptured by the colors, details, expressiveness and elegance of the world, of the characters and their movements. When Donkey and his clique find themselves in the middle of a savannah slapped by the wind and burnt by the fire, it is difficult not to trigger applause or half reverence.


In portable mode you must necessarily limit yourself to 720 points on the Switch panel, more than enough for what remains a show, even on the move. Accompanied above all by the usual, suggestive, soundtrack signed by David Wise. That will not touch the top of what has been done in the monkey world, but still offers an excellent performance.

The overview of the news and changes made to this version for Switch ends by reporting the presence of Funky Kong as a playable character for the less experienced (it is not invincible, but you get closer) and the possibility of playing in two simply using the Joy- With included: an extra comfort to face each level with a friend.


If for other labels a similar result could be said to be excellent, for Nintendo and Retro Studios being able to distil a similar concentration of challenge and elegance is almost normal administration. Which does not remove a nail from the quality of the game, but it is also true that it was desirable already in 2014 to expect some more flicker.

MODUS OPERANDI
After completing the original game on Wii U, I tried the Switch version thanks to a code obtained from Nintendo. I played Donkey and the others both in portable mode and remaining connected to the TV, both with the Pro Controller and with the Joy-Con, facing the first three worlds.